Ivan’s review published on Letterboxd:
“I wonder, uh, all these mornings you've been sitting in my study, sitting, have you had any moments of stillness? Because you're right, Ruben. The world does keep moving, and it can be a damn cruel place. But for me, those moments of stillness, that place, that's the kingdom of God.” - Joe
I lost count of how many times I cried. Sound of Metal deserves the praise and attention. With a brilliant sound design and a great performance from Riz Ahmed, Sound of Metal directed by Darius Marder is a visceral journey into silence. It follows a recovering drug addict Ruben (Riz Ahmed) has finally achieved solace in his life as the drummer in the rock band—when his life is toppled after his hearing quickly deteriorates. Sound of Metal could have only worked if it succeeded in making the audience feel Ruben’s experience. Sound of Metal could not just inform the audience of Ruben’s journey through the sudden loss of sense of sound—it had to make the audience carefully aware of the horror of sudden hearing loss. And thankfully, Sound of Metal achieves these with a creative sound design and a great performance from Riz Ahmed.
Riz Ahmed here is raw, bedazzling, and nuanced. He gave one of the strongest male performances of 2020. His astounding performances along with the main casts leveled up the film's great sound design. Paul Raci's presence here is easily enthralling and one's performance betting for Oscar acting award. On the technical aspect, get ready to hear a lot about the film's sound design over and over again, and rightfully so. Sound designer Nicolas Becker’s achievement is a marvel, the quality of which demands to be experienced with the best speakers as possible.
Overall, Sound of Metal is a commanding film from start to finish which brilliantly executes Ruben's journey. There is no doubt in my mind also that this is a film worthy to be nominated for several awards as the film progressively portrays hearing loss as a less burden and more like another way to live—and I think that is so beautiful. Highly recommended.